in memory of the 239 passengers aboard Malaysian Airlines MH370,
which disappeared on March 8, 2014
Language was the flight that disappeared.
At first the sky seemed strangely bare:
not like a coat with one lost button,
but a universe of coat where the button
has never existed. Soon, there is panic.
Because no one can close the universe
so it keeps flapping open and swelling
with cold. In the center of the button
there are threads, torn from the rest
of the coat, looping around each other
like hearts. The search begins in earnest.
Was the button loose to begin with?
Within that question, needled by wind,
you rewind and fast-forward through
starless regions of the brain. Try to pin-
point to the second the flight’s last
heard of transmission. What was said,
by whom, why those words? Listening
to what you think was there, what will
neither reproach nor acknowledge you.
(Or is it air that has fastened its ear
to the walls of your soul? Is this God
saying goodnight?) This is how you fill in
the hole: with a lineage of broken sound.
Then radar, and the work of spinning
heaven-bound bodies, which inform you
the flight wandered far over uncharted
waters. How? Who would steer it there?
The universe is beginning to feel like
nakedness. You tape paper over the cavity,
prick it with a hundred possible sightings.
Pattern will be your salvation, even as
your pulse moves through shark-infested
murk, aching to collide with damage
you can touch, taste. This is how the sea
you didn’t know was you, becomes yours.
For a brief time, the flight’s black box
sends out pings. When it is silent, there is
nothing but grief. The sky forever
blue and you beneath it, a cut thread.
Sometimes you dream you are the black box,
waiting to be raked up from the depths
to speak to that open wound, what happened.
Would you be able to wear the world then?
Would it embrace and warm your body?
Once a language was flung into the air.
Despite an extensive international
search no trace